Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

July 15, 2012

Dark matter detector installed at underground science lab

The world's most sensitive dark matter detector has been installed at the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake in Lead.

The LUX Dark Matter Detector now installed at the Davis Campus of the Sanford lab in Lead has the attention of scientests around the world, South Dakota Public Radio reports, largely because it is expected to do a better job detecting dark matter than anything else now in use.

Within the first four days of operation we will achieve a greater sensitivity than all the previous direct detection dark matter experiments that have ever been run, one scientest tells SDPB.

The Associated Press reports that learning more about dark matter would be an important leap forward in the human understanding of the universe.

The mine is useful for this project because dark matter is too sensitive to detect in normal laboratories. By setting up LUX nearly a mile underground — and then submerging it in liquid cooled to -100 degrees centigrade — it should be shielded from pesky cosmic radiation that interferes with detection.

Visit the Sanford underground lab website by clicking here. Read more about the LUX detector by clicking here.




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